Kiefer the Hero as Germany Tops Austria in Davis Cup; Spain Next

Posted on March 8, 2009

Nicolas Kiefer and Philipp Kohlschreiber led Germany into the Davis Cup quarterfinals on Sunday, topping Austria 3-2.

Kiefer clinched the tie for Germany in the first singles on Sunday, topping Jurgen Melzer in straight sets.

"I have to congratulate Nicolas, he played well," Melzer said. "I found my rhythm in the second set. But it is always tough to read his serve. In addition it was a bit difficult for me after my tough loss on Friday. For Kiefer it was easier. He knew if he lost he had Kohlschreiber behind him who would have been the favorite for the fifth rubber."

Austria jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Friday when Stefan Koubek defeated Rainer Schuettler in four sets. Kohlschreiber then beat Melzer in five to even the tie, and Kiefer/Kohlschreiber defeated Austria's Julian Knowle and Alexander Peya in four set in the doubles.

Germany will next travel to Spain in July to take on the defending champions and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

Kiefer drove the German team with two singles and a doubles point.

"It is overwhelming," Kiefer said. "I didn't know where I am standing before this weekend. I am happy that I could help my team. I love playing for my country. I felt great out there. I left my heart on the court. I got a lot of support from the box. I am looking forward to play for Germany in the future."

It was the sixth consecutive first-round Davis Cup loss for Austria.